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Old 02-11-08, 10:50 PM   #1
hockeyteeth
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Preventing Pannier Sway?

I frequently hear my panniers clipping the spokes as I climb hills and accelerate hard. Tonight I was riding home from work and the rear corner of one bag caught the spokes of the rear wheel and fell off the rack. The problem is exacerbated with the more weight I put in the bags.

How do you folks make your panniers sturdier? Do better panniers prevent this? I may try replacing the flimsy plastic liner inside the bag with something stiffer.

I use Axiom Cartier bags and a crappy Trek Interchange rack.
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Old 02-11-08, 11:04 PM   #2
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Okay, this is really low-tech, but back in the day I sewed my own panniers out of pack cloth. I didn't have any idea about stiffeners. To prevent the problem you describe, I cut a couple of strips of 1/4" plywood - about 2" by 12". I attached them horizontally to the seatstays and rack supports so that they held the bottoms of the panniers away from the spokes. I attached them by drilling holes and tying them to the stays and supports with cotton twine, wrapped a few times around the supports to keep them from slipping down. As funky as it sounds, it worked. For the weight-conscious, the little plywood slats and the string didn't weigh much at all (though I had no way of weighing them.)

Another, less crude (but more expensive) fix is to buy a rear rack with a support that sticks out in back. I have a Blackburn I bought off Ebay several years ago. (At least, it says it's a Blackburn.) It's just like my Blackburn EX-1, except that it has a fourth support piece that goes down straight from the back of the rack, then makes a 45-degree turn to join the rest of the supports at the bottom. It works well. I know Jandd racks have a support that "sticks out" in a similar fashion, and, I think, would keep the panniers out of the spokes.
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Old 02-12-08, 05:43 PM   #3
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What BigBlue Toe said.
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Old 02-12-08, 06:01 PM   #4
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A better solution in my opinion that almost no one talks about



Indestructible and is much lighter than it looks. And so many ways to attach items to it, dozens of connection points.
And less than 30 bucks.....
And you don't even need eyelet holes to attach it.
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Old 02-12-08, 06:54 PM   #5
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What you're looking for is known as a dogleg strut. Check out the following website, but watch out for the "colorful" girls on their faithful steeds.

http://www.bicycleluggageracks.com
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Old 02-13-08, 05:01 PM   #6
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Fender stays = spoke protectors

I used to have the 'pannier flopping into the spokes' problem until I installed SKS fenders on my bike. I discovered that the rear fender stays keep the panniers from flopping or being sucked into my spokes (even though that isn't the reason I installed the fenders). It is a nice side benefit, though.

Trailtrekker in Iowa
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Old 02-13-08, 05:30 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hockeyteeth View Post
I frequently hear my panniers clipping the spokes as I climb hills and accelerate hard. Tonight I was riding home from work and the rear corner of one bag caught the spokes of the rear wheel and fell off the rack. The problem is exacerbated with the more weight I put in the bags.

How do you folks make your panniers sturdier? Do better panniers prevent this? I may try replacing the flimsy plastic liner inside the bag with something stiffer.

I use Axiom Cartier bags and a crappy Trek Interchange rack.
Tubus Cargo. Not cheap but oh so nice

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Old 02-13-08, 07:36 PM   #8
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Get a better rack. Problem solved.
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Old 02-13-08, 09:00 PM   #9
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The damn panniers went into my spokes today while commuting and locked my wheel up into a skid as I was crossing traffic. I will buy a better rack tomorrow.

I do not have rack mounts on my seat stays, so I have to mount my rack to the brake bridge. I don't want to buy one and discover it can only mount to the stays, so can someone recommend a good rack which they know works with a center brake bridge mount?
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Old 02-14-08, 12:54 AM   #10
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My first "real" bike and I almost died when the bungy strap of a pannier snapped and the hook got caught in the spokes, winding the bungee cord around the freewheel. The panniers at that stage had holes worn in the corners from rubbing against the spokes.

Even when I had the panniers full, so they kept their shape, they would tend to slide back and rotate into the spokes.

So get a rack like those described above, and some sort of non-elastic retention system for the panniers.
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Old 02-14-08, 09:54 AM   #11
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http://www.bicycleluggageracks.com
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Old 02-14-08, 10:42 AM   #12
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Thanks for that link! About the best writeup on touring racks I've seen.

There's some "nice rack" (ahem) photos on there as well. (and we're not talking about Surly)
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Old 02-14-08, 04:45 PM   #13
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I've had this problem before too. Here's how I solved the problem:
1. A rack where the rear struts are flush with the top edge of the rack (as shown in other posts). Here's what I'm using: http://www.whymor.com/index.asp?Page...PROD&ProdID=70
2. I purchased Deuter Rack Pack II panniers from Sierra Trading post. Not the largest panniers out there, but the backs are super stiff, and they have a hook system that prevents pannier's from jumping off the rack. It amazes me how many panniers come with a super flexible back, which is the major culprit for panniers getting into the wheels (that and racks designed to allow the panniers to do that, like some Blackburn models I've owned).

You can also try a couple modifications to your panniers:
-re-locate the hooks toward the edges of the pannier--many hooks are too centered allowing the outsides to flop around.
-get some alumuminum bar stock from Home Despot and rivet or bolt it across the bottom/backside of each pannier.

Rich
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Old 02-14-08, 11:15 PM   #14
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I'm with the "get a better rack crowd," too. My first rack was a cyclepro rack. On my first test tour, of only about 60 miles round trip, one of my panniers swung into my spokes, breaking one spoke and breaking the rack. I was able to get back home on my bike, but I learned my lesson. I got the wheel fixed and put a Jandd expedition rack on my bike, which I have been using ever since. I have had panniers fall off a couple of times since switching racks, but only because they weren't adjusted tightly enough. And my panniers never get anywhere near my spokes anymore.
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Old 02-14-08, 11:17 PM   #15
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I don't know. I would imagine most racks would work like that, but a lot of them might require some non-standard, additional hardware.
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